$38M Fee Request in Anthem Data Breach Settlement Under Scrutiny
The Recorder discusses the Anthem data brech settlement with Ted Frank.
A prospective class member has objected to the Anthem data breach settlement, specifically criticizing a fee request of nearly $38 million, and planning to ask that a special master investigate the case for potential over-billing.
Class action critic Ted Frank, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Class Action Fairness, filed the objection on Dec. 29 on behalf of Adam Schulman, who is an attorney at his Washington D.C. organization. The objection said the fee request, which is 33 percent of the $115 million settlement, was “outrageous on its face” and should be closer to $13.8 million. He particularly targeted the average $360 per hour rate for contract attorneys submitted by four lead plaintiffs firms, one of which is San Francisco’s Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein. A special master in Boston is investigating Lieff Cabraser, along with two other law firms, for potential over-billing for staff attorneys in a $74.5 million fee request over securities class action settlements with State Street. The special master’s report is due in March.
Frank said he planned to file a motion on Thursday asking that a special master be appointed in the Anthem case.
He wants a special master to look into “the same thing they’re investigating in State Street, which is why this billing happened and whether it’s appropriate and whether there was an attempt to mislead the court.” He also questioned why 49 other firms not appointed by the court stood to earn a total of $13.6 million in fees and “whether there were side agreements to back scratch or trade favors in other MDLs to get work in this MDL.”
Read the full article at The Recorder.